The Luxury Institute surveyed 1,503 consumers with a minimum household annual income of $150,000 about leading luxury fashion brands for men. Brands were ranked by quality, exclusivity, social status and self-enhancement. Then they were ranked overall, forming the Luxury Brand Status Index (LBSI). The survey also measured three key “outcome” metrics, for comparison to the LBSI: perceived price worthiness, consumers’ willingness to recommend the brand and consumers’ next-purchase preference. It also collected data about brand familiarity and past purchases.
Luxury Brand Status Index: 7.79
Brioni is the top-rated brand in the areas of exclusivity, social status and self-enhancement. It is also the brand seen as most worthy of a price premium. Fans of Brioni’s Roman style include Kofi Annan and James Bond. (Brioni has had a lock on dressing 007 since the Pierce Brosnan years.) The tailored clothing maker is pushing into luxury sportswear and recently opened its first hard shop in Saks Fifth Avenue.
Tied with Zegna, Armani is the top-rated brand among those with the highest incidence of past purchasing. It consistently ranked second on all four dimensions of the LBSI. All these years after American Gigolo made slate gray, wool crepe and soft draping standard for men of status, Armani is still The Maestro. Giorgio Armani Group’s worldwide retail sales topped 5 billion euros last year.
3* Ermenegildo Zegna
Tied with Armani overall, Ermenegildo Zegna is the top-rated brand in the category for delivery of consistently superior quality. The Zegna brands keep gaining strength, thanks to U.S. advertising, a new store concept and the well-received Z Zegna show in New York.
Ferragamo shares with the top three the distinction of significantly higher-than-average scores across all dimensions of the LBSI and outcome metrics. Over the years its men’s line, under the direction of designer Massimiliano Giornetti, has become an increasingly articulated offering of fashion pieces with classic accents.
Canali is the top-rated brand in terms of willingness of wealthy consumers who are familiar with the brand to recommend it to people they care about. Some retailers say they consider Canali among the best values in terms of price-to-quality. Recently Canali has been raising its profile by sponsoring athletes, increasing its mix of luxury goods and accessories, and slowly rolling out U.S. stores.
6 Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce & Gabbana has significantly higher-than-average scores across all components of the index and for perceived worthiness of a price premium. Dolce & Gabbana’s fall show in Milan was the most viewed show of the season on Men.style.com. That collection was inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and was loaded with metallics.
Prada has stronger-than-average scores for exclusivity, social status, self-enhancement and worthiness of a price premium. Miuccia Prada’s intellectually challenging collections are tempered by Patrizio Bertelli’s spot-on sense of merchandising, resulting in reliably modern and quietly chic ready-to-wear. The devil clearly isn’t the only one who wears it.
8* Tom Ford
Tied with Versace for overall score, Tom Ford has the lowest familiarity, yet scores above average on the outcome metrics. The designer’s first store, opened in April on Madison Avenue, aims to reset the benchmark for luxury retailing. As soon as Ford unveiled the über-luxe flagship and his new men’s collection, he began hinting at rapid expansion into global markets.
Tied with Tom Ford overall, Versace has above-average scores for exclusivity, self-enhancement and price worthiness. In April the house Gianni built tapped Alexandre Plokhov (of Cloak fame) to consult at its men’s design studio, and is working to attract the same level of excitement as surrounds its women’s wear.
Burberry has above-average ratings for quality and social status. Last year Burberry launched the Icons collection to mark its 150th anniversary, and it was a hit. For fall the company is launching Burberry Sport, a line of sportswear for men and women that is performance-oriented as well as chic.
* indicates a tie